4 Home Renovation Tips From First-Timers

by Valerie Hawkins

The day my parents told my sisters and me they were selling our childhood home, was a day I’ll never forget. (Insert dramatic music). It was an emotional thing to process – the home I grew up in would no longer be the home I brought my children to for holidays.

But after some thinking, I suppose my parents are adults and can make their own decisions on where they live. Right?

And then came the biggest, most shocking news of all. They weren’t downsizing (like most people close to retirement do). They were buying a 100-year-old-Victorian-style mansion to renovate. To live in. For fun.

Fast forward two years. Their new, old house has fresh paint in every room. It’s more spacious after knocking some walls down. And they added a bathroom for when holidays roll around!

In those two years of solid renovations, my parents learned a thing or two (or four). Here are the top lessons they learned as first-time home renovators.

1. Follow your budget

Set your budget before you begin, and stick to it! Overspending by $100 here and $250 there can break the bank quickly. If you happen to overspend in one area, try to underspend in another. Consider keeping track of those underages and overages because they can get out of hand quickly.

2. Don’t overbuild for your neighborhood

If you buy a $100,000 house and put $100,000 into it, you now have a $200,000 house in a $100,000 neighborhood. When you go to sell, you may not get a bang for your buck (and hard work).

3. When to DIY, and when not to

Doing it yourself is easy! All you need is a hammer and a YouTube video, right? Wrong. Sometimes it’s best to leave the DIY to a professional to move that wall or update the electrical wiring.

4. Hire legit contractors

Speaking of which, a reliable contractor is crucial in a successful home renovation. Call their references and read online reviews to ensure you hire a good one. Also, you’ll be spending long days and making lots of decisions with them, so make sure you get along well!

Home renovations can be stressful and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Get started with these steps.

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